December 15, 2008 16:12 ET

Government of Canada Enables Medicines to Go Fight the Cholera Epidemic

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 15, 2008) - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation announced today that the Government of Canada is enabling the distribution of critical cholera medication to reach those suffering in the midst of a cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe and northern South Africa.

"The cholera epidemic is affecting thousands in Africa and casualties are increasing without the necessary medication," said Minister Oda. "This generous donation of cholera medication by Canadian pharmaceutical companies reflects the compassion of Canadians. The Government of Canada is working in partnership with World Vision Canada to ensure the medicines will be distributed."

The Government of Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), will provide World Vision Canada with up to $500,000 to offset the transport cost of lifesaving medicine to Zimbabwe. The shipment will comprise antibiotics and pediatric oral rehydration salts, specially formulated for use by children. This effort will help ensure that thousands of children in Zimbabwe will have access to critical medications to combat the effects of cholera.

"The children are the most vulnerable during this cholera outbreak. The medications that are being shipped to Zimbabwe, along with the support on the ground from World Vision, will serve as a much needed lifeline for so many of these children," said Dave Toycen, President and CEO of World Vision Canada.

With CIDA's financial assistance, World Vision will ship the cholera medications (approximately 200 pallets) in the coming weeks.

The donated medications, worth over $4.7 million, will initially be distributed to four clinics and hospitals serving 1,300 patients monthly by World Vision. World Vision, which has worked in Zimbabwe since 1973, is operating extensive community development projects in the country.

Canada continues to monitor the situation in Zimbabwe and we are prepared to respond further to the humanitarian situation. Today's announcement complements the $10 million in humanitarian assistance that Canada has already provided since July 2007.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Michelle Coates
    Press Secretary
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office